Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Stubai Alps 5 - The Elferspitze (2,505m)

So to the Thursday of the week, a day of forecast good weather and we had decided to go for the Elfer, a distinctive set of rocky towers high about Neustift.  

We had been as far as the Elferhutte on the Sunay when we did the Panorama Walk.  Again we took the Elfer lift and were greeted by some great views over the valley looking back towards Innsbruck, cloud still hanging over the valley and around the Schlick 2000.

We stopped again at the hutte for some milk with fruit in it - ice cold and refreshing.  Then looked up the ridge towards the top of the hill]

The ridge is pretty obvious, and marked with the usual flashes of red and white paint to keep you right.

Heading up there were some stunning views all around.

You soon leave the "tree line" and find yourself in a new rocky world.  It feels like you are really up in the mountains, mixing it with proper summits.

The path weaves in among the rocky towers.  It was still relatively early in the year - the last week in June - and some snow remained on the path in some places.  We had to kick in steps in a few places and take a couple of chances on some slippy inclines.

Towards the top, you find yourself at a small bealach / saddle where you drop right and round a little exposed ledge to a broader area at the bottom of the Elferspitze itself, a couple of sections secured with steel ropes.

The top itself carries a metal cross but to get up there you need to scramble up a short chimney.  The chimney has some metal steps in it and a metal cable to help you up.

We both had a go but neither of us made it to the top.  Marian couldn't work out the route...... and I jsut bottled it!  I am not a great fan of exposure and I was feeling very exposed up there, with a big drop next to me all the way down to the valley.  I just wanted to get somewhere that didn't feel so risky!

We dropped back to the bealach and spent some time taking in the amazing views.

We considered going back a different way, but in the end settled on going back the way we had come.

All the way back there were stunning views.

The cloud had started to clear and we were now able to see the Hoher Burgstall where we had been on the Monday.

Soon we were back at the Elferhutte, looking hack at where we had been,

Again there were paragliders taking off, soaring high above the valley.

It was a wonderful day.  We'd not got to the top, but even so it had been a great walk among an amazing architecture.

Back to the Pentlands

Well the referendum is over.  I am knackered....

It was good to get out this morning though into the hills.  The light was fantastic - the air clear and fresh.  I was out for the best part of 2 hours, running/walking these hills.

It was fairly quiet out there.  Just me and the sheep.

I don't know what to feel at the moment - relief that it is all over, obviously, but I am also so used now to working silly hours, no weekends etc that it will be strange to get back to a more balanced life.

I am running a lot more at the moment too.  With work so busy, running (slow and easy) has been an opportunity to get some space and dissipate some stress.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Light and more miles

I was in work yesterday...and again today....but this morning I got out for a few miles in the Pentlands to clear my head and get some exercise.  I'm trying to get some more "endurance" at the moment, adding some more running to my routine, but keeping it all easy (walking the uphills).  The light was wonderful.

This morning was an easy 7 miles from Hillend, up over Caerketton to Allermuir, off the back on the West side and then for a change nipping up Catlelaw before dropping back to the main road and back to the car.

The morning was windy and cold at first, but there were nice views out to the East

....and also over to the North and Arthur's Seat

To the northwest, the Ochils were looking inviting and close, the sun starting to illuminate the southern slopes.

Further on, from Castlelaw, there were nice views along Glencorse reservoir

A nice morning....

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Morning in the Pentlands

A beautiful morning run in the Pentlands today.  It was windy but the sun was out too, brining the landscape to life with the remains of summer.

It was a bit further than usual - a 6.5 mile circuit - but I took it easy and enjoyed the space.  Work is hard at the moment with the referendum less than 3 weeks away.  The work is hectic but the paranoid, angry divise atmosphere that has been kicked off is draining too.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Stubai Alps 4 - The Stubaier Gletscher

Wednesday, the weather seemed a little better, although in the valley the cloud was keeping low.  As we went further up the valley towards the glacier, the clouds started to lift a little.

We took the lift up as far as we could get, but the top restaurant - the "Top of the Tyrol" - was closed and the lift to it was not operating.  We found ourselves in an interesting place though,  surrounded by spiky mountains draped in cloud.

There was not far to go however - higher up was still all covered in snow and there were people skiing on the glacier.  We did take a bit of a wander a long a short ridge where were were up above the lifts,

We took the lift back down and then the bus along to the Grawa Alm where we had a beer and a snack - sausage and pickles, after a short walk along the full river.

Above the alm was the Grawa Wasserfall and we walked over to get a closer look from the viewing platform from which you are able to soak in the mist and benefit - allegedly - from the ionised air.

A path took us up the side of the falls, as we headed for the Sulzenau Alm.  The weather was not looking great though and after Marian took a slip on the path we decided to head down.  We walked to the Tschangelair Alm which we had been told was very good for food, but on the way the heavens opened and we got soaked.  The alm was closed too, so we crossed the road and waited for the bus back to Neustift.

No big walks, but a good day out in some stunning hills.